Oocyte Cryopreservation (Egg Freezing) is a modern reproduction technique to extend the fertility of women. It involves a stepped process that includes extracting a woman’s eggs (oocytes), freezing, and storing them. When the woman is ready to conceive and become pregnant, her eggs are thawed, fertilized with sperm, and transferred as embryos into the woman’s uterus. This type of cycle can be done with or without stimulation and will require about 5-8 monitoring visits so the doctor can determine follicular growth, the time of ovulation and the best date for the retrieval to occur. Any viable oocytes retrieved are frozen in our laboratory.
Egg Freezing can be beneficial for women desiring to preserve their fertility for a number of reasons:
- Women diagnosed with cancer who will be receiving certain types of treatment. Prior to getting radiation, chemotherapy, and in some cases, surgery, egg freezing offers an opportunity to preserve a woman’s eggs before the treatment destroys the eggs and renders her infertile.
- Women who desire to delay childbirth due to educational or career goals – In order to increase the likelihood of getting pregnant at a later age, freezing ages at an early point in a woman’s reproductive cycle is often sought by women. While a woman’s eggs can deteriorate in quality as she ages, her uterus is typically able to carry a pregnancy well into her 40’s and even in her 50’s. Egg freezing allows women to a way to extend their biological clock.
- Women with a genetic history of early menopause, endometriosis, or premature ovarian failure – Women who have a genetic history of premature menopause, are offered a change to preserve their eggs before they reach a likley point of early menaupause themselves.
- Women who are currently single – Women who are not in a relationship may opt to freeze their eggs so they will be able to conceive a child later in life when they feel they are in a more ideal relationship for their family.
- Women who are concerned about egg quality as they age – It is a fact that egg quality declines as a woman ages. While female fertility generally peaks in a woman’s early 20’s, her egg quality will soon begin to gradually decline and becomes even more pronounced around the age of 35.
While egg freezing is not for everyone, it is a viable option for some women and gives them more control over their fertility options. To learn more about egg freezing and to find out if you are an ideal candidate, please contact us.